Monkey See, Monkey Fall, Monkey Cause National Blackout

Primate that fell on transformer is lucky to be alive
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2016 9:01 AM CDT
Monkey See, Monkey Fall, Monkey Cause National Blackout
The power-plundering primate on its perch.   (Facebook)

A "rogue" operative caused a nearly four-hour power outage across Kenya on Tuesday, the BBC reports. That agent of blackout chaos: a monkey that fell onto a transformer of the country's leading electric power-generating company, per the AP. In a statement on its Facebook page, accompanied by a photo of the primate perched on the transformer, KenGen (short for Kenya Electricity Generating Company) noted the animal had scrambled its way up the Gitaru power station and onto its roof, subsequently falling onto the transformer and tripping it. This was the trigger for a domino-like effect in which other machines at Gitaru started tripping as well, resulting in the loss of 180 megawatts of power. The ensuing blackout not only shut off the lights across the nation, but also cut access to the Internet and "paralyzed countless businesses," the New York Times notes.

"KenGen power installations are secured by electric fencing which keeps away marauding wild animals," the Facebook post reads. "We regret this isolated incident, and the company is looking at ways of further enhancing security at all our power plants." Distressingly, CNN notes, most of the country probably didn't even notice the power went out: Per the World Bank, less than a quarter of Kenya's population has electric access. As for the monkey, tentatively IDed by the Times as a "pesky" vervet, it didn't turn into a Peter Gabriel song: KenGen says it survived its ordeal and has been turned over to Kenya's state wildlife agency. (Could the monkey have been an agent from the Chinese military?)

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